Illinois Republicans offer pension fix

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Until now, the debate on fixing Illinois’ underfunded pension system centered on two competing Democratic proposals; now, state Republicans are offering an alternative.

It would move state employees into a 401k system or something similar; they would contribute 8% of their pay to their pension, and the state would make a 7% matching contribution.

But the GOP plan isn’t given much chance of passage in a state government dominated by Democrats.

State House Speaker Mike Madigan’s pension plan would cut benefits the deepest; it has Governor Quinn’s support.

State Senator John Cullerton’s plan would cut less, and it has union support; but any plan would have to survive a court challenge.

The illinois General assembly will hold a special session on the pension crisis Wednesday.

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